Overhauling the PMC contest entry system for more 'fair chance' between entrants

Ticket #628
Opened by: eagoy
Status: Accepted
Feature Request
3/9/16 1:44 pm 3/9/16 1:44 pm
11/13/18 8:37 am 11/13/18 8:37 am
Alright, some months have passed and some feedback is given. It's time to wrap some things up for overhauling the PMC contest entry system for more 'fair chance' between entrants. See the spoiler below for the old post.

Changes that COULD improve the fairness between contest entries:
Randomize the “current entries” page when reaching the review phase.

Advertise reel → (Amount of review time)/(amount of entries) = amount of advertise time every entry gets. Of course randomized throughout the review period. Even better if their individual time is split up since not all times are great to be featured on the advertise reel.

Changes that MIGHT improve WITH REGRESSION the fairness between contest entries:
Un-color the moderators names on the 'current entries' page and the respective 'project pages'. With the name-changes going on, including the moderators, people easily recognize moderators by their color. So if they appear un-colored members might think it isn't a moderator.
This might confuse people as they appear to be member and in other parts as moderator.

Changes with the UNLIKELY possibility to improve the fairness between contest entries:
Forced draft state of entries with release on the same moment. Each approach, uploading at the beginning or at the end, has it owns benefits or downsides.

Remove the 'made by *insert member*' by the entries & don't let it show up on the 'My subscription activity' page. Seems to be way to much overhauling the system for an unlikely benefit.

Thanks for the input Pepijn, boveybrawlers & Pikamoar

NEW idea changes WITH NO FEEDBACK YET to improve the fairness between contest entries:
I know it's a wild idea and probably hard to implant but heck without suggesting you will never know the outcome.
Remove statistics for contest entry viewers such as the diamond count, views, downloads and favorites. Of course these stay viewable for contest judges and the owner. The idea behind this is to get speculations by members on forums. Plus get more tension & surprises at the judging phase how everyone did in the contest so far. For example a project you expected to get finals didn't and only received some diamonds while other projects went the opposite way.

New suggestions are welcome

Spoiler - The old original post

I know this ticket is here and there rambling but my purpose is more to raise a discussion than get the higher tier implemented.

11/13/2018 8:37 am
Level 69 : High Grandmaster Cyborg
set status to Accepted, assigned Cyprezz.
06/10/2016 3:53 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Lava Rider
modified ticket description.
06/10/2016 8:49 am
Level 52 : Grandmaster Gent
I'm just going to reply to everything I can in one comment, so I apologize if this seems a little scatterbrained.

This would've been a good idea two years ago, when we averaged 500-1000 entries on any contest, but now, we're down to 100-300 maximum. So, it's not hard at all to make the finalists. Take the project contest for example. Twenty-two entries did not make the finalists. Those are some really good odds if you have any sort of a fanbase at all.

Members with a high amount of (active) subscribers can get easily more diamonds etc in contrary to members with a low amount (or inactive) subscribers.
That's the way it should be. If you have a lot of active subscribers, you're already probably good enough to make the finalists for whatever you make.

Moderators, people tend to diamond more easily submissions of moderators or people with 'power' to get into a better light by that person in question.
This is true in some cases, but not all. I've actually gotten less diamonds since I became a mod.

Pop-reel, when an entry gets onto the pop-reel it's getting more attention and often resulting in more diamonds (the self-fulfilling prophecy), Resulting in a lesser need of diamond judges.
Judge diamonds are worth several times what regular member diamonds are worth. They aren't dependent on member diamonds to be worth something, because the two aren't even comparable.

There is truth in that, but what about a skinner that enters a project contest without a proper quality build. Quite some chance that the subscribers base will help her/him out to get into the finals.
I've posted builds before, and they sucked, and I was given no leeway from anyone.

Randomize the 'current entries' page.
I never use the current entries page, but it could work.

Un-color the moderators on the 'current entries' page and in the submissions section itself. I do not mean to un-color it on the project page itself. (it was added for a reason after all)
This is another idea that could possibly work. The only problem is is that this would be the only part of the site with uncolored names, and could lead to some confusion.

Force contest entries into a draft state and release them all at once at the end of entry period. This will remove the 'time of upload' issues. However it will greatly effect other submissions uploaded on that time
I'll run over the 'time of upload' issues quick, to tell you why I'm against this one.

Uploading the first promising entry in the first few days often gets 'tons' of diamonds, making it into the finals
I always upload as fast as I can, and start getting diamonds while I tweak the parts that I might have missed. It's not unfair that some people can skin or build or write faster than someone else, it's just a skill that builds up over time.

Time of the day, which day in the week. Not everyone can upload on the busiest moment of the site due to time-zones or other
I never post in the busiest time of the day. I just collect diamonds and such over time. Making it into the finals takes more than just a shot of popularity because you posted at the right time.

Last moment entry uploading results in showing up first page on the 'current entries' page. This results in higher view chance while others are left behind in other pages.
The first project contest I entered, I was the last entry. It got super popular (with a lot of hate because I made the finalists because of it). And guess what, I got last place (I've gotten last place in more official contests than anyone else in measurable PMC history).

Quality entries in the beginning period can discourage other entrants to a. forfeit, b. rush things up or c. try even harder.
This really isn't anyone's fault but their own. When you know you aren't going to win, and are just curious how your entry stacks up, that's when you have the most fun.

So, at the end of the day, there really isn't a problem with time issues. Everyone has the chance to do well in a contest, and that doesn't revolve around timezones or when you post.

No pop-reel for the contest entries, rather an advertise reel → (Amount of review time)/(amount of entries) = amount of advertise time every entry gets. Of course randomized throughout the review period. Even better if their individual time is split up since not all times are great to be featured on the advertise reel.
I think this is a great idea. I have no idea how practical it would be to implement, but it'd be cool.

Remove the 'made by (insert member)' the entries & don't let it show up on the 'My subscription activity' page until the reviewing period is over.
I don't really see how this would help. It'd be almost impossible to implement the first option, and the second would hurt lesser known skinners more than it would even the playing field.

And when finalists are chosen, these are completely random too
Do you mean the list is randomized, or the finalists are chosen at random? I'm okay with a randomized list, but I am very much against randomized finalists. The system isn't really rigged in the first place, and doing this throws skill to the wind. The idea of our current system was inspired by community participation, and it's the only part of contests that the community has any influence in. I think it should stay that way.


Great job on the ticket, I wish more people put this much effort into writing feature requests.
06/10/2016 12:05 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Lava Rider
Shame you didn't write it chronological but heck, thanks for the input!

There is truth in that.

Fair enough, I do not notice those kind of moderators, only the opposite ones.

Clearly an area which I don't know enough about to make statements like this.

Roller coaster contest entry of yours?

Others do, boveybrawlers for example does use it.

True enough.

Clear and extensive enough to me, should partially 'solved' by randomizing the current entries page

Neither do I.

Names like Kefka will ring a bell by even non-skinners and thus easier clicking on it. Although most persons will do it without his name. Not the best comparison but it was the only one I could come up quickly with.

Thanks for the compliment :-)

Seems it's time for me to modify the ticket with the feedback I got so far.
06/09/2016 3:23 pm
Level 66 : High Grandmaster Architect
I too use the current entries every couple of days when there's an active contest, to keep up with new entrants. So I think when the contest is open it should stay ordered.

I had the idea of randomising contest entries as well and asked a few people on PMC chat, results were obvious - it would be fair to all entrants if, when the contest closes, the list is randomised. And when finalists are chosen, these are completely random too (maybe shuffled up again for good measure :D)

There was also talk about the fact that the kind of people who would want this feature are probably just lacking building or organisation skills but for me personally it's just fighting for fairness to all entrants (and me and my build team have come in the top 5 before! yay!).

I like the idea of getting rid of the profile information, so you don't know who has built it, just for the mystery and making the big reveal an even bigger reveal! But it's quite extreme, same goes for all the other points.
06/09/2016 7:24 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Cyborg
Getting rid of the profile information requires a big overhaul of the contest system (needs to not display on people's profile either). And it can still be nullified by just advertising your contest submission on your profile or another submission. So not worth the effort IMO.
03/12/2016 7:29 am
Level 55 : Grandmaster Cyborg
Certainly all worth looking into. This has already been dicussed with the site team before and I believe option 5 was considered (but maybe only for the judging phase, can't remember).

The truth is that it's close to impossible to make it completely 100% fair. Some things you suggested would require a large overhaul on the contest system, which takes a lot of time and effort. So we need to make sure that it's actually worth it.
03/11/2016 6:39 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Cyborg
1. Possible
2. Won't help even though I don't think it even occurs, most people don't find submissions through that page.
3. Not a fan of this, mostly because I don't think it's a problem. People who upload earlier have indeed more time to gather diamonds, but that's just the advantage of uploading early. It has the disadvantage of you not having put much time and thought into the skin, which makes it most likely a inferior skin.
4. If you have enough diamonds to reach the popreel with a skin, you most likely will already have or will get (without help of the popreel) enough diamonds to reach the finalists. In the finalists stage, diamonds have no meaning.
5. I can see why it seems like a popularity contest, but people with a huge following are very very likely to have quality contest submission which deserve a spot in the finalists anyway. So would it really matter? Probably not IMO.

From what I've read, you seem to value diamonds way too much. There's room for 100 entries in the finalists stage, and you really don't an insane amount of diamonds to get into it. If you have a decent looking skin and advertise it every so often in our chat, you will very very likely make it into the finalists (whether you are level 1 or level 79 / a member or a moderator).
03/12/2016 3:54 am
Level 51 : Grandmaster Lava Rider
1. Clear enough.
2. Didn't expect that as I tend to use the 'current entries page' a lot, in project contests.
3. Understandable you're not a fan of it. Besides the early advantage of uploading, it could prevent the discourage by some people. In project contests I came across some people who simply gave up and didn't bother to upload any-more by earlier quality entries.
4. Good argument. I do think it will make things closer & thus more interesting if the differences between the amount of diamonds will decrease.
5. There is truth in that, but what about a skinner that enters a project contest without a proper quality build. Quite some chance that the subscribers base will help her/him out to get into the finals.

There is truth in the fact that I value diamonds a lot in contests.

It's interesting to read that you approach this with skin contests in mind and I did it with project contests. Just an observation, nothing more.

Anyway, I did this to get more insights/opinions by trying to get some kind of discussion, so thanks for the reply :-)
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